Dentist sentenced in drug-sex conviction

July 13, 2002|By Dennis O'Brien | Dennis O'Brien,SUN STAFF

A former Essex dentist was sentenced to a year of home detention and fined $10,000 yesterday in Baltimore County Circuit Court after he admitted to trading drug prescriptions for sexual favors.

Allan Pertnoy, 65, whose office was in the 800 block of Eastern Ave., pleaded guilty before Judge Dana M. Levitz to one count of illegal distribution of a controlled dangerous substance.

Levitz also sentenced Pertnoy to a three-year suspended term and five years' probation, and ordered him not to seek reinstatement of his dentistry license while he is on home detention.

Assistant State's Attorney Frank C. Meyer said that Pertnoy gave out Percocet and other painkillers to women in exchange for sexual favors between December 1998 and February 2000.

Pertnoy was charged after a woman reported the arrangement to police when she was charged with drug violations for trying to use one of Pertnoy's prescriptions, Meyer said.

Meyer said that Pertnoy practiced dentistry from 1960 until he surrendered his license last year.

Meyer said that he did not know how many illicit prescriptions Pertnoy wrote as part of the scheme.

But according to a statement submitted to Levitz yesterday, Pertnoy wrote prescriptions for at least 1,400 tablets of various painkillers.

Pertnoy gave them to addicted women even though he never examined them for dental treatment, according to the statement.

Pertnoy, appearing disheveled and hunched over in court yesterday, apologized later for the scheme.

"I'm very sorry for everything that happened," Pertnoy said. "The lesson out of this is not to do what I did."

William Kirk, Pertnoy's lawyer, said Pertnoy's wife divorced him after he was charged, and that Pertnoy is broke, has no job, survives on Social Security payments and suffers from depression.

"He wound up divorced, he wound up giving up his dental practice, he wound up really giving up his life," Kirk said.

State health records show that Pertnoy's dental license expired June 30, 2001.

The case was initially prosecuted by the U.S. attorney's office.

But court records show that in exchange for a guilty plea, the U.S. attorney agreed to refer the case to Baltimore County prosecutors so that Pertnoy could argue for a lesser sentence than the 30-month prison term mandated by federal sentencing guidelines.

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